2017 NFL Draft

Pro Days: Gophers' MarQueis Gray battling to find NFL fit

Pro Days: Gophers' MarQueis Gray battling to find NFL fit

By Derek Harper | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

MarQueis Gray continued his longshot bid to become an NFL quarterback by working out in front of representatives from 13 teams at Minnesota's pro day Monday.

Gray scored a coveted invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine last month, and he showed off his athleticism with a 4.73-second 40-yard dash and 4.30-second 20-yard dash -- both among the best of the quarterbacks in Indianapolis despite a nagging ankle injury he aggravated in Minnesota's loss in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 28. He improved that 40 time slightly to 4.67 on Monday.

Gray has excellent size at 6-feet-3 and 240 pounds, and the size/athleticism combination helped to draw NFL scouts to Monday's workout.

"We were really looking ... to see if he had the natural skills to be able to throw all of the necessary throws," Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson told the Minnesota Daily.

Johnson said Gray moved well and impressed with his touch on deep passes.

Predraft workouts can't mask the fact that Gray was extremely inconsistent during his Gophers career and continues to wage an uphill battle to be drafted next month. NFLDraftScout.com projects Gray as a better tight end candidate, and he did work out as a pass-catcher Monday, which is a more likely route toward securing a look as a priority free agent after the draft.

He lacks the top-end speed to succeed as a wideout, although Gray claims he can run in the 4.5s when completely healthy.

"That works for me," Gray said of potentially playing tight end. "As long as I'm on a roster and playing and the coaches like what I'm doing, that's all good for me."

Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave was also on-hand, and he said all 32 NFL teams are still trying to determine where Gray would be a potential position fit.

"That remains to be seen," Musgrave told the Pioneer Press when asked if Gray can play quarterback in the NFL. "He has a lot of good experience, and he's a terrific athlete. He did very well at the combine -- very sharp in the interviews."

Monday's workout included prospects from Minnesota and smaller colleges. Northern Iowa wide receiver Terrell Sinkfield ran an unofficial 4.19-second 40, according to the Daily, which would be among the fastest times ever recorded -- if it holds up. That will at least get him on the radar of NFL scouts, but Sinkfield isn't considered a legitimate prospect to be drafted.

For more NFL draft news and analysis, follow Derek Harper on Twitter at @DerekAHarper.

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